Kondo Stops Kim in Pancrase

By Tony Loiseleur Aug 8, 2009
In an evening full of decisions, former light heavyweight and current interim middleweight King of Pancrase Yuki Kondo took out Kim Ki-Beom in the main event at Pancrase “Changing Tour 4” on Saturday at the Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

The first meaningful exchange came when the southpaw Kondo landed a big right-left hook-body kick combination. Kim threw punches with abandon, hoping that sheer numbers would overwhelm the Pride Fighting Championships veteran. While some got through, Kondo braved the assault and landed counter punches, knees and kicks to the body.

The accumulated body shots, though few, quickly took their toll on Kim, as Kondo dropped him soon after with a knee and another hard kick to the body. Referee Soichi Hiroto, in what was to be his final bout before retirement, jumped in and stopped it at 1:52 of the first period.

Meanwhile, Izuru Takeuchi retained his middleweight King of Pancrase title in a majority draw with Takenori Sato.

Sato made quite a fight of it, however, as he came straight at the champion with big punches and kicks and knocked him down at the end of the first period. Sato maintained his pace into round two, but an unintentional eye poke, unnoticed by referee Yoshifumi Oyabu, allowed the champion to put down Sato and finish the round with punches from guard. The third round remained even. Sato secured a takedown and a close guillotine attempt, while Takeuchi finished strong with punches from guard. Judges Yoshinori Umeki and Ryogoku Wada both scored the bout a 29-29 draw; Kenji Kosuge gave it to Takeuchi, 28-27.

Other bouts were not as competitive.

Sengoku bad boy Maximo Blanco starched Katsuya Inoue in the second frame and claimed his lightweight King of Pancrase title. The high-flying Venezuelan played a game of cat and mouse with the defending Inoue, slamming flying knees and thunderous body hook counters into the conservative champion, who chose to only throw leg kicks. The end came when Blanco scored a one-two to Inoue's face, dropping him for the ground-and-pound barrage. Referee Tomoki Matsumiya jumped in for the save at 4:38 of the second frame. Naturally, Blanco landed several extra blows after the stoppage for good measure.

Eriya Matsuda took a page out of Blanco’s playbook, as he soccer kicked Kenichi Serizawa into defeat and continued to do so well after the referee called an end to the bout.

Serizawa returned after a six-year hiatus, and the layoff showed in every second of his two minutes in the ring. Matsuda was quicker and stronger, as he tagged Serizawa at every juncture with punches. He rocked him with a soccer kick to the back of the head at 2:02. Matsuda continued to soccer kick and stomp, despite the referee coming between both fighters. In fact, Serizawa’s cornerman -- former Shooto 143-pound champion Hideki Kadowaki -- attempted to reach into the ring to restrain an unrepentant Matsuda.

Other Bouts
Koji Oishi def. Felipe Olivieri -- Majority Decision (20-19, 20-19, 20-20)
Kenji Arai def. Takumi Murata -- Unanimous Decision (20-19 all)
Masahiro Toryu draws Kosei Kubota -- Majority Draw (20-19, 20-20, 19-19)
Tashiro Nishiuchi draws Tomonari Kanomata -- Majority Draw (20-19, 19-19, 20-20)
Isao Kobayashi def. Hirotaka Tomiyama -- TKO (Punches) 4:58 R1
Shigeyuki Uchiyama def. Akira Saito -- Unanimous Decision (20-19, 20-19, 20-18)
Ryota Sasaki def. Nobuhiro Yoshitake -- Unanimous Decision (20-19, 20-19, 19-19)
Kiyotaka Shimizu def. Yuichiro Yajima -- Unanimous Decision (20-19, 20-19, 20-20)

Event Notes: During the intermission, former Shooto 132-pound champion Masahiro Oishi and current bantamweight King of Pancrase Manabu Inoue announced they would fight at the Pancrase show on Oct. 25 but did not specify whether or not it would be for Inoue’s title … Current featherweight King of Pancrase Marlon Sandro also appeared and told Pancrase fans he vehemently objected to his decision loss to Michihiro Omigawa in Sengoku’s featherweight grand prix. He then requested their support in his effort to lobby for the first title shot in the promotion … Those two events were overshadowed by a surprise appearance from current open weight King of Pancrase Josh Barnett, who made his first public appearance since his failed steroid test and subsequent cancellation of Affliction “Trilogy.” Barnett’s appearance was brief, as he limited his comments to an upcoming professional wrestling appearance. “It’s nice to see everybody tonight, but I wish I were looking at you all as a fighter now,” he said. “I’m going to be competing tomorrow in the IGF, so it’s not as if I’m taking a break. But it doesn’t matter which ring I’m going to be in – I’ll be there as your champion.”
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